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stern jailor with his key, and the poor famished prisoner, who is being supplied with food by the philanthropist. At another time their little hearts will feel sensible of compassion, but now, while they lift up their eyes to the cold marble, the gigantic and motionless figure of Howard, they are rather frozen with awe than melted with pity.
The colossal figure of doctor Johnson, on the opposite monument, represents the intellectual gladiator, the mighty lexicographer, in a standing attitude. Unlike the graven bust, in the title-page of his dictionary, he stands erect, habited as a Roman, with a majestic mien, fixing the regard, and commanding the admiration of the spell-bound visitor. The man of letters comes here, a pilgrim to the shrine of talent, and pays a willing homage to departed intellect.
And these, then, are the most enduring records of this world's admiration! What a tale of humiliation is told by the disfigured effigy, the mutilated marble, and the time-worn monument of the hero!
These mouldering records make one feel ashamed That fame and glory have so little power To hand their greatness down to future times."
It is said that St. Paul's was first built by Ethelbert, king of Kent, A.d. 619; and that kings Kenred, Athelstan, Edgar, Ethelred, and Canute, Edward the Confessor, and William the Conqueror, all contributed largely to its support.
There is, indeed, abundant reason to believe, that a Christian church occupied the same site at a very early period; and that this, when destroyed by the Dioclesian persecution, was again rebuilt in the time of Constantine the Great. It was after the demolition of this church that Ethelbert undertook its re-erection.
Two or three times it was destroyed by fire, and more than once the spire was struck by lightning. Among the names of those who were, at different periods, the most zealous in its reparation, may be mentioned, William de Belmois, Osbert de Camera, Maurice Belmois, and Roger Niger, bishops of London. To these must be added, Henry Lacy, earl of Lincoln; Ralph Baldock, bishop of London; and queen Elizabeth. The latter gave out of her own purse, a thousand marks of gold; and added also to her gift, a thousand loads of timber.
From the year 1631 to 1643, more than a hundred thousand pounds was received to repair St. Paul's; and the work was begun by sir Inigo Jones. The chapels and altars of St. Paul's, before the Reformation, were very numerous, and the rites of the Romish religion were celebrated with great pomp and pageantry. With rich treasures, and two hundred officiating priests, it abounded in what was alluring and imposing to the eye: statues of the Virgin Mary, with huge tapers burning before them continually: caskets decorated with jewels, and filled with relics; as well as rich censers, cruets and chalices, and basins of gold and silver.
At one period beggars asked alms in the church; fashionable people made it a lounging place, and porters, with their packs, used it as a common thoroughfare.
Little respect was paid to the costly structure of St. Paul's during the civil wars that broke out; for then the work of desolation spread wide within its walls; the pavement of marble was torn up, the stalls were pulled down, while sawpits were dug in some parts, and horses stabled in others of the sacred edifice.
The old church of St. Paul's had one of the highest spires in the world, it being, with the tower, a height of 534 feet; but this spire was burned early in the reign of queen Elizabeth, by the carelessness of a plumber; the roof also was injured so as to cost many thousand pounds to repair; but the chapel spire never rose again. The high altar stood between two columns, and was adorned profusely with jewellery, as well as surrounded with images, beautifully wrought, and covered with a canopy of wood, representing saints and angels. In the centre of the church stood a large cross; against a pillar was a beautiful image of the Virgin Mary, before which an anthem was sung every day, and a lamp kept continually burning; while in the tower was a fine dial, with an angel pointing to the hour.
But the costliness of the structure was no defence against the all-devouring element that was to consume it. The great fire of 1666 wrapped it in flames. This fire was one of the most tremendous scourges that ever visited London. It seemed as if the Holy One was pouring out, on the devoted city, the vials of his wrath.
"It was in the depth and dead of the night, when most doors and fences were locked up in the city, that the fire doth break forth and appear abroad, and like a mighty giant refreshed with wine, doth awake and arm itself, and quickly gathers strength.
"That night most of the Londoners had taken their last sleep in their houses; they little thought it would be so when they went into their beds; they did not in the least suspect, when the doors of their ears were unlocked, and the casements of their eyes were opened in the morning, to hear of such an enemy invading the city, and that they should see him, with such fury, enter the doors of their houses, break into every room, and look out at their casements, with such a threatening countenance.
"That which made the ruin the more dismal, was, that it was begun on the Lord's day morning. Never was there the like sabbath in London. Some churches were in flames that day; and God seemed to come down, and to preach himself in them, as he did in Mount Sinai, when the mount burned with fire; such warm preaching those churches never had; such lightning dreadful sermons never were before delivered in London. In other churches ministers were preaching their farewell sermons, and people were hearing with quaking and astonishment. Instead of a holy rest which Christians have taken on this day, there is a tumultuous hurrying upon the spirits of those that sat still, and had only the notice of the ear of the quick and strange spreading of the fire.
"Now fearfulness and terror doth surprise the citizens of London; confusion and astonishment doth fall upon them at this unheard-of, unthought-of judgment. It would have grieved the heart of an unconcerned person to see the rueful looks, the pale cheeks, the tears trickling down from the eyes, (where the greatness of sorrow and amazement could give leave for such a vent,) the smiting of the breast, the wringing of the hands; to hear the sighs and groans, the doleful and weeping speeches of the distressed citizens, when they were bringing forth their wives, some from their childbed, and their little ones, some from their sickbed, out of their houses, and sending them into the country, or somewhere into the fields, with their goods."
St. Paul's Cathedral, as it stood before the great